Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday took a dig at the Centre over its tax collections on petrol and diesel, asking whether it is a government or a “greedy money lender from old Hindi films”. His attack came a day after the Lok Sabha was informed that the Union government’s tax collections on petrol and diesel jumped by 88 per cent to Rs 3.35 lakh crore in the last fiscal.
Tagging a media report on the issue, Gandhi said, “On one hand they are provoking people to take loans, on the other hand they are earning indiscriminately through tax extortion. Is it a government or a greedy money lender from old Hindi films?” the former Congress chief said in a tweet in Hindi using the hashtag ‘TaxExtortion’.
Excise duty on petrol was hiked from Rs 19.98 per litre to Rs 32.9 last year to recoup gain arising from international oil prices plunging to multi-year low as pandemic gulped demand.
The same on diesel was raised to Rs 31.8 from Rs 15.83 a litre, according to a written reply by Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli in the Lok Sabha.
This led to excise collections on petrol and diesel jumping to Rs 3.35 lakh crore in 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021), from Rs 1.78 lakh crore a year back, he said.